Google has new program to sell Android phones directly to developers. The Android Dev Phone 1 is both SIM-unlocked and hardware-unlocked. SIM-unlocked means you can use it on any GSM carrier you want. Hardware-unlocked means you can run any system you want on the phone, not just officially signed ones. No more need to worry about security patches taking away your root access.
The device is $399. You will need to purchase it through the Android Market as a registered developer (a $25 fee). We wonder how long before the unsigned bootloader starts getting flashed to T-Mobile phones.
Two new Android phones have surfaced recently which may prove just as friendly: the Kogan Agora Pro and the QiGi i6.
UPDATE: While shipping is free in US, it is incredibly expensive everywhere else. Yes, we bought one.
Working as quick as ever, the iphone-dev team have updated the PwnageTool and QuickPwn to work with the new iPhone 2.2 firmware update. The trouble with the new firmware is that it updates the baseband of the phone, which could potentially undo any progress made towards an iPhone 3G unlock in the future. If you don’t care about that, you can use QuickPwn to jailbreak your phone after the upgrade, so you can run any app you want. If a future unlock is important to you, use the PwnageTool to strip the baseband update out of the firmware update.
The iphone-dev team has officially stated “all that remains is implementation“. They’ve developed all the pieces they need to perform a software unlock for the iPhone 3G, now it’s just a matter of putting them together in user friendly fashion. They’ve managed to run unsigned code on the baseband, developed custom AT tools, and are now showing injection of a background task. They will combine all of these techniques to override the carrier lock baseband code. As usual, they warn against performing any official firmware updates to the phone.
GpsPasSion forum member [Ospray] has released a new version of MioPocket. For those of you that don’t know, MioPocket is a great unlock kit for GPS units. It basically unlocks the hidden potential of your GPS so you can access the built-in functionality of a PDA as well as retaining the GPS software. This means you can play music, watch video, play games, read and write office documents, and many other things with the once single-purpose device.
Originally written for Mio brand devices, it has been successfully used on a couple other brands. We’ve seen it on a Navigon 2100 using a modified install. This software can run directly off the SD card, so it can easily be updated or removed.
The fun part is fiddling with the scripts to get the newest releases to work on the Navigon and Magellan devices.
The iphone-dev team hasn’t been resting on their laurels since releasing the iPhone Pwnage Tool 2.0 nearly two weeks ago and decided to update everyone on their progress. Despite the iPhone 2.0 jailbreak, there still isn’t a way to unlock a 3G phone. They’ve managed to do other things like downgrade a 3G to an older baseband firmware, which demonstrates their ability to bypass security checks and run unsigned code on the baseband. A nice side effect of all the downgrade work is that they’ve perfected the percautions they take to prevent bricking. The team has been following threads about using SIM proxy devices for unlocks as well, but concluded that the devices are a kludge at best and reliability can vary wildly depending on the phone’s location. They also pointed out the fine work that RiP Dev has been doing on Installer 4 which will help you install software that isn’t from the AppStore.
Earlier today, the iPhone Dev Team teased that they wouldn’t release their latest Pwnage Tool until Sunday. Since this was yet another in a week long bit of teasing, we were somewhat surprised when a few hours later they posted a rather relaxed Thanks for waiting :) post announcing that Pwnage Tool 2.0 is available. Here’s a direct link to the tool and a mirror courtesy of [_BigBoss_].
According to TUAW, Pwnage Tool 2.0 will activate, jailbreak, and unlock first generation iPhones running any firmware up to and including version 2.0. Unfortunately, it will not unlock an iPhone 3G (at least, not yet). iPhone 3G owners can still use the tool for activation and jailbreaking (so you can run 3rd party apps not supported by Apple and the new iPhone App Store).
So far, skimming through the 1322 comments on their announcement post, I’ve not seen any complaints or death threats about the tool bricking iPhones, but one should still proceed with caution. According to one update to the post, some people either get an error 1600 from iTunes or they notice a “failure to prepare x12220000_4_Recovery.ipsw” in the log. They’ve provided a workaround, however. If this happens to you, simply
mkdir ~/Library/iTunes/Device Support or alternately nuke all the files in that already extant folder and re-run Pwnage Tool.
UPDATE: Image is from Engadget’s iPhone review we covered earlier.
[Alexander Lash] gave a short overview of what you need to unlock a CDMA phone. He strongly recommended Howard Forums for finding most of the info you need. You’ll probably need BitPim and the Qualcomm PST (product support tools). Using the PST you can flash your new carrier’s firmware and then activate the phone on their network.
Verizon offers two ways to get unlimited EVDO data. $59 for a data plan or $15 for VCast. You’re not supposed to be able to use your VCast phone as an EVDO modem and it sends a different network access identifier (NAI) if you tether the phone. Using the PST you can change the NAI and use the cheaper VCast plan for data access. Here is a forum post detailing the process.